Zhan Zhuang

 

Zhan zhuang, literally: "standing like a post", is a qigong training routine often practiced by students of neijia (internal kung fu), such as t'ai chi ch'uan. Zhan zhuang is sometimes translated as standing-on-stake, standing qigong, standing like a tree, post-standing, pile-standing.

 

 Basic training: in daily life, in order to gain results from training all the time, while walking, standing, sitting, and reclining, one must start the training from the pile standing (zhanzhuang) method. Arrange the posture of the whole body properly, keep the body upright, have no thoughts, strengthen the nerves in stillness, adjust the breath, warm up and nourish the muscles, let every cell activate naturally. The strength comes from the inside and reaches the outside smoothly in the whole body. Thus, one does not train the bones and the muscles, yet they get trained by themselves, one does not nourish the nerves but they get nourished by themselves, one should especially experience and observe their barely perceptible movement and activity. When one has done it for long enough time, one will know that standing brings many inexhaustible wonders. One who wants to achieve wonders in his boxing skills, should first dedicate his time to pile standing.

 

Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai (Circa 1920)